Jogging is an excellent cardiovascular exercise and is also popular because of its simplicity, adaptability to busy schedules, and the numerous benefits that can be obtained from a sound program. These include improved cardio-respiratory health, decreased risk of heart disease, decreased body fat, increased bone strength, and improved leg and back muscle endurance.
- Jogging is most appropriate for women who are in moderate to good shape and who are not more than 30 pounds overweight..
- Appropriate footwear is important for jogging. Choose a comfortable pair of jogging/running shoes with adequate sole cushioning, good head support, and sufficient mid-sole flexibility.
- Always warm-up stretch, and cool-down during your jogging session. Begin each session by walking or jogging at a low intensity for 5-10 minutes (warm-up) and then stretch your calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips, and low back muscles (refer to the Flexibility Training component for the principles and techniques of stretching.) After your exercise session, cool-down by walking at a low intensity for another 5-10 minutes and then stretch the same muscles as before.
- Be sure to breathe regularly throughout the exercise session.
- As you jog be sure to keep your back straight , your abdominal
tight, and "pump" your arms back and forth.
Refer to the WF Cardiovascular Exercise contents for the principles and guidelines of a safe and effective cardiovascular exercise program-including recommendations for duration, frequency, and intensity (and how to monitor it) of a program that is right for you and the goals you want to achieve.
- For beginners (who are in moderate or better shape), jog no more than four days per week with a day of rest between workouts to allow for adequate recovery of the weight-bearing joints, ligaments, and tendons. Each exercise session should last no more than 20-30 minutes for the first 4-6 weeks.
- It is also important to gradually increase the duration (the time you spend in each session) before you increase the intensity. That is, when beginning a jogging program, be more concerned with increasing the number of minutes of the exercise session before you increase the intensity, by increasing your speed or jogging hilly terrain. Interval training (explained in the Cardiovascular Exercise component) is an effective method of gradually increasing your intensity.
- Refer to the WF Cardiovascular Exercise contents for the principles and guidelines of a safe and effective cardiovascular exercise program-including recommendations for duration, frequency and intensity (and how to monitor it) of a program that is right for you and the goals you want to achieve.
Also consider jogging on a treadmill, which can enhance your jogging experience. First, they are equipped with shock absorbing decks that can reduce the impact to your joints by as much as 33%. Second, with a treadmill your workout is not dictated by the weather or the time of day. Finally, treadmills include an incline feature that lets you simulate running up hills, giving you a more intense cardio workout and allowing you to target additional lower body muscles.